Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway! Enjoy!
Do you have a suggestion for a hand-tool woodworking blog you would like to see here? Tell me via the CONTACT page. Thanks!
Here I am in La Amistad International Park in Costa Rica with the lovely Stephanie Hubbard. The Park is in both Panama and Costa Rica and is a Unesco World Heritage Site. This shot is near a waterfall in the primary rainforest that we hiked 3 hours in a riverbed to get to. Wet feet, a deadly bushmaster snake, bullet ants and poisonous spiders the size of your face made it a day that I'll never forget.
We stayed at an eco lodge (no non solar power and gravity fed water) called Selva Bananito which was way off the beaten path in the rain forest. The owner is obsessed with preserving the lands and habitat for the jaguars, pumas, ocelots and other large cats. His dedication and efforts were inspiring and it was a pleasure knowing that our vacation dollars were keeping his land from becoming another Chiquita style plantation.
But beyond all that, it was the much needed rest and recharge. Now with the book done and a decent rest, I'm ready for my next project...whatever that may be!
Saw a book at the library the other day – Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do – but I didn’t take it home. I already know I like living within sight of the water.Looking down the Jones River
As an added bonus, the borrowed shop I’m using has a water view as well. As you might know, I had a great time this winter. But…I’m not sad to see it going away now…today was the first day I could sit outside and feel warm enough in just a sweater. So I sat by the edge of Town Brook and ate my lunch. And watched the water.Up the Town Brook
For ten minutes, I was transported. I was Huck Finn, drifting down his Mississippi. Then I was Henry David Thoreau, philosophizing beside Walden Pond. I heard Garcia singing Brokedown Palace. I was that red-tail hawk, floating above the Brook…then I was me, thinking of the Jones River at home…was the tide low or high?that way to the sea
Then an emergency vehicle came screaming down the road, my reverie was snapped. Water view or not, it was time to go back to work. But it sure was a great ten minutes.
I’ve had a knife in my pocket since I was 11 and couldn’t imagine working in the shop without one. My problem is that the beautiful French knife my wife gave me in 1998 doesn’t have a locking blade. After a couple close calls with the French knife, I decided to get a folding lockback for the shop. Of course, I wanted to buy a domestic knife, but I didn’t […]
The snow pack is largely melted by the house and no precipitation of any kind is falling at the moment. Rays of sun poke through from time to time and the squawk of Red Wing Blackbirds carries on the wind.
It begins to feel, finally, a little bit like spring when the sawhorses can go outside.
At 5 p.m. EST on Wednesday, April 1, we will begin taking pre-publication orders for the long-awaited book “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley” by Don Williams with photographs by Narayan Nayar.
The book will be $49 with free shipping for domestic customers if ordered before May 13, 2015. That is the day the book will be released and shipped.
Also, the first 1,000 orders will receive a commemorative full-color postcard that’s perfect for pinning up in your shop. The front of the postcard will show the tool chest in all its glory; the rear face will have a short biography of Studley and note that you were one of the first 1,000 people to purchase “Virtuoso.”
The book is being released at the same time as the opening of the exhibit of the Studley tool cabinet and workbench in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on May 15-17. Information and tickets are available here.
Those who order the book before its release date will have the option of either getting it shipped to them (arriving after Handworks) or picking it up at Handworks, which runs May 15-16 in Amana, Iowa. If you plan to pick up your book at Handworks, please read the following paragraph with care. It is important.
You will need to pick up your book at the Lost Art Press booth in the Festhalle Barn in Amana, Iowa. While we will be selling copies of “Virtuoso” at the exhibit, the sales staff there will not have access to the list of people who pre-ordered the book. So to repeat (using slightly different words): You will pick up your pre-ordered book at Handworks.
So we recommend you come to Handworks first, pick up your book and then take it to the exhibit where you can get it signed by the people involved in the project.
Pre-ordering the book and picking it up in Amana will guarantee that you get your book there. We can bring only so many books to Handworks.
So spread the word to your woodworking friends: Studley is coming.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Virtuoso: The Toolbox of Henry O. Studley
Some folks have requested more details on what size to make their dogs for the Benchcrafted Tail Vise. Here they are, directly from our Split Top Roubo plans.
No, this is not an April Fools’ joke posted a day early. It’s a poem from one of my favorite writers, John Donne, who died on this date in 1631. Why this poem (or any poem)? The central conceit is the compass – a powerful tool in woodworking. After the poem (yes, yes; I know many will skip it), I’ve posted links to just some of the compass techniques and […]
No Southern-fried Southern boy wants to be called a Yankee, but we share the characteristics of shrewdness and thrift. Thus, each month we include a money-saving tip. It’s OK if you call me “cheap.”
Useful are even the smallest pieces of PVC pipe you begged from the plumbers at the construction site up the street. If you, like me, live where humidity is generated for distribution to the rest of the country, you try to do everything you can to keep the wetness out of your shop.
For example, I keep the doors and windows closed, except when the hygrometer tells me the humidity outside is near to or lower than the indoor humidity.
Sometimes you need to run a power cord or air hose outside, necessitating an incompletely-closed door or window. Instead, you can drill a hole through the wall exactly the outside diameter of a piece of PVC pipe which has an inside diameter capable of allowing passage of your cord or hose.
Because I do a lot of sanding outdoors, and I like to have compressed air to blow away sanding dust from my project, I use this little passageway for the air hose, allowing the door to stay closed.
Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home. Questions and comments on woodworking may be sent to DrRandolph@MyPetsDoctor.com. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.
The post Tips from Sticks in the Mud – April Tip #3- Using the small pieces of PVC appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
I am sure this is probably old news, as most of you all probably subscribe to Popular Woodworking. For those that have not had a chance to see the issue, I was fortunate to get an article in the April issue of Popular Woodworking’s Magazine. I did an article on tapered sliding dovetails. The hardest […]
I saw them at the Northeastern Woodworker’s Association 2015 Showcase this past weekend. George gave a pair of great talks on design from both a historic and practical standpoint, and Andrew did a terrific demonstration of Japanese tools and an amazing talk on Chinese furniture.
If anyone is interested I have some planes for sale on E Bay this week.
Lie Nielsen No2 above and nice Bedrock 604 below.
A rare Marples smoother in nice condition.
An almost unused Marples M4.
And a nice Mathieson smoother from the 1890's with no cracks or damage.
Auction finishes Sunday night.
|cross brace set up|
|flushing the joints|
|out of square on the long arm|
|short arm is almost perfect|
|made a pattern of the arm end|
|I band sawed most of it and rasped it to the lines|
|what do you think|
I still have to do something on the cross brace. On that I think I will just do a doodle on the outboard edge only. I don't like the straight square look to it. I'll have to think of some kind of detail to put here that doesn't take away too much meat.
|lost part of the bottom edge|
This is it for tonight. I have to go make the wife some soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. It is her favorite 'I'm sick' meal.
The Romans had 3 words for kissing - basium, osculum, and suavium. What are distinctions between them?
answer - basium is a kiss between acquaintances, osculum a kiss between close friends, and suavium is a kiss between lovers
What can you do about it? This weather has its own way of being, it’s own way of acting. Asking it to change would be like asking you to stop being who you are. We respond the way we respond. We take on our challenges the way we take them on.
The best we can hope for I think is to understand our methods and prepare for them. Case in point. Anyone who has worked around me when I am at the bench knows that I am, shall we say, a loud woodworker. There is always some tool or piece of wood to talk to, cajol, or simply swear at. It is as if I think things will go better if I am loud.
So when something really does go off the tracks, I know that the best thing for me to do is to walk away from my bench. Give the problem time to shrink to its real size. I walk outside or even around the block if I need. Then when I return, the winds have calmed some, and I can see more clearly what needs to be done.
Thanks to everyone who entered the “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker” chapter-spot contest. Some of your (wrong) answers were really funny – so I had a lot of fun going through the responses.
Two photos, numbers 7 and 24, flummoxed everyone. A few of you were close on 24 with “chisel” … but not close enough (I’m a tough grader – just ask any of my former students). No one really came close on 7, a vacuum-tube tester.
The correct answer on 24 is “carving gouge.”
It was a close finish for first place and second place…particularly because the first-place winner declined to answer 36, 37 and 38. But it didn’t hurt him in the end.
Even with skipping three of them, Stumpy Nubs had the most correct answers (30).
Congratulations, James! You win an autographed copy of Roy Underhill’s “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker (A Novel with Measured Drawings),” a Lost Art Press Logo T-shirt in your choice of color and size (from available stock) and an autographed Roubo Bookstand in Walnut, made by Roy Underhill.
The second-place finisher (28 correct) is Sawdustandwoodchips, who wins an autographed copy of “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker (A Novel with Measured Drawings)” and a Lost Art Press Logo T-shirt in his (I think “his” … but I don’t actually know) choice of color and size (from available stock).
For third place, there was a tie. So I resorted to giving “pluses” for hyper-correct answers to each of the entrants with 23 correct responses. Matt Rae got five pluses; lblack2x4 got four pluses…but lost one for “Rabone folding rule…because it’s a Zig-Zag.) So, Matt Rae gets an autographed copy of “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker (A Novel with Measured Drawings),” and lblack2x4 gets a Lost Art Press Logo T-shirt (choice of color and size from available stock).
If one (or more) person gave the exact correct response, answers that were vague did not get full marks (e.g. No. 1 is the exposure counter on a Robot 1 camera, which several people identified correctly, so “camera dial” alone did not make the grade).
Winners, please send your mailing address and T-shirt choice (where applicable) to: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll get them off to Roy and Christopher Schwarz immediately.
And remember: You’re all winners, just for playing (do you think kids really believe that?).
Below, you’ll find the key to all 38 of the chapter spots images, as provided by Roy:
1 Exposure Counter, Robot 1 camera
2 IBM Punch Card,
3 Audel’s Carpenters and Builders Guide, vol 3,
4 RCA console Radio, ca 1939
5 Shutter Speed Dial, Robot 1 camera
6 Stanley #6 Bench Plane
7 Vacuum Tube Tester, ca 1948
8 Bell Systems Pay Telephone Dial
9 Steel Zig-Zag Rule
10 Toledo Scale (drugstore model)
11 Exposure Guide, Robot 1 camera
12 Focus Ring, Robot 1 camera
13 Folding Rule
14 Exposure Counter, Robot 1 camera
15 Wurlitzer Juke Box, 1946
16 Wurlitzer Juke Box, 1941
17 Auger Bit, 17/16 inch
18 Try Square
19 Zig-Zag Rule
20 Tuning Dial, Atwater Kent Radio, ca. 1921
21 Adding Machine
22 Wurlitzer Juke Box, 1946
23 Adding Machine, Remington
24 Carving Gouge
25 Coin Slot, Bell Systems Pay Phone
26 Gearing Tables, Barnes #3 ? Screw Cutting Lathe
27 Steel Folding Rule
28 F-Stop (Iris diaphragm) Setting, Robot 1 Camera
29 Stanley Rule & Level # 29 Transitional Plane
30 Langdon Patent, Millers Falls Miter Box
31 Zig-Zag Rule
32 Post Office Box Window
33 Stamp Vending Machine
34 Two Plow Plane Irons
35 Stanley Rule & Level # 35 Transitional Plane
36 Adding Machine, Remington
37 Stanley Rule & Level # 37 Transitional Plane
38 Two Steel Number Stamps
Filed under: Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!
I saw this while out wandering today:
We all know it’s wrong. It is beyond kitsch. Or parody. Closer to burlesque.
I am offering a $10 (US) Veritas/Lee Valley gift card to the person who most succinctly explains why it is wrong. “Because” and “It just is”, while accurate, will not be accepted.
I don’t think there has been a better time to for someone to start wood working in over a hundred years. At least for hand tool woodworking. Quality tools are once again being manufactured and the internet gives us unprecedented access to used tools. There are numerous blogs on the internet with a wealth of information. Not so much this one, but the good ones. :) Videos abound for just about any type of project you can think of and more are uploaded every day.
A round of recent comments on one of my posts set me to thinking about and re-watching one of those videos. Well, actually three of them. Back in August, Lost Art Press released a set of DVD’s entitled “The Naked Woodworker“. On the DVD’s host Mike Siemsen walks the viewer thru acquiring essential tools, putting them in working order. He then demonstrates how to use them to build a pair of saw benches and then a very functional workbench. Taking an aspiring wood worker from naked, starting with nothing, thru their first fledgling steps on their hand tool journey. There is an emphasis on keeping the costs low by purchasing second-hand tools and common construction materials.
The first DVD follows Mr. Siemsen as he searches thru the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association regional meeting for the tools that will be needed to get a person started. What to look for, points of condition and the expected price point are all covered. The newly acquired treasures are then taken back to the shop and made ready for use. Basic maintenance, sharpening of edge tools as well as hand saws is covered. It’s not an exhaustive dissertation on the subjects, but more than enough to get the uninitiated up and running.
The second DVD covers the construction of saw benches and then a workbench using commonly available construction lumber that can be found at any lumber yard or big box home improvement store. All of the construction is completed with the basic tools that were acquired and restored in the first DVD. Mr. Siemsen also answers that age-old question, “how do you build a bench without a bench?”. Quite handily as it turns out. The bench built requires no vise, thus limiting the amount of initial cost in getting started.
Mr Siemsen’s down-to-earth approach and humor makes these DVD’s an absolute pleasure to watch. I will, without hesitation, recommend this video set to anyone who is looking to get started in hand tool woodworking. In fact it’s worth watching no matter what your experience level may be. Naked or full clothed. I don’t judge.
Here is a little taste. In the video below Mike Siemsen demonstrates the various ways to use a workbench without a vise. Be sure and watch all the way to the end.
Yesterday we finally had a bit of decent weather; not that it was warm, it snowed the night before, but at the least it wasn’t freezing. I took the nicer weather as a sign that spring is finally springing, so I decided to not only clean out my garage, but the yard as well. It was an all day job, starting at 9 am and not ending until nearly 5 pm. But I managed to get a lot done, most importantly I managed to make my workbench area a lot less uncluttered. Much scrap wood, old cans, broken items, and stuff I generally had forgotten existed was either thrown away or donated to goodwill. I’m not finished yet, but I came a long, long way, and my garage should be much more suitable to woodworking when I begin my next project.
As far as woodworking is concerned, my cleanup and reorganization accomplished two things that I had been wanting to finish for more than a year: I was able to move my stain cabinet to the workbench area, and I was able to get my woodworking hardware (nails, screws, handles, knobs, brackets, etc.) organized and into one location that is easily accessible right from my workbench. I even managed to squeeze in a little woodworking during my clean-up. Firstly, I finished the small screw driver rack that I started, and secondly, I got the material for my next hand plane cut roughly to size..
I started making a screw-driver rack a few weeks back from some scrap Walnut I had laying around. It was a good excuse to mess around with my hand-tools, and when my new ECE rabbet plane arrived it was a good excuse to put it to use. Before I go on let me say that my little screw driver rack is barely worth noting but for two reasons. The first reason is that I used my drill press to drill out the holes. Yes, I have a drill press. The tool was given to me twelve years ago and I barely use it. I have nothing against using a drill press, but this one is just not accurate enough to use in making furniture. It’s okay for drilling out a line of holes, or some light sanding, but the table is too wobbly and the depth stop not reliable enough for intricate work. The other reason is my smoothing plane.
I have one of the new Stanley Sweetheart #4 smooth planes. I picked it up on Amazon roughly three years ago for the ridiculously low price of $91. It is a good tool that is well made and attractive. My only problem with it is the same problem I have with other smooth planes, and that is the fact that I think smooth planes are overrated. I’ve written about this topic before so I won’t get into it again at the moment. At the same time, just because I felt that way it didn’t necessarily mean that I dislike the tool. Whenever I sharpen, I always give the #4 iron a few passes over the stone just to keep it razor sharp, and I usually take it apart once a month or so, as I do with my other bench planes, just to oil and clean it. Yesterday I used the #4 to clean up the screw driver rack boards both before and after assembly, and I also used it to prep the maple and bubinga I am using to make my next handplane. It was the first time since I’ve owned the tool that I used it for more than a few minutes and I have to admit that it was a joy to use. I was able to take fine and full-width shavings with little effort. Of course the sharp iron helped big time. Nevertheless, it was a joy to use a well-made tool exactly the way it was meant to be used. While I still don’t worship at the altar of the smooth plane, I’m at least at the door of the church. So I have to be forthright and admit that my bashing of the #4 was off-base, and I apologize to those who may have disagreed with my original assessment.